The show, which was partially shot in Jordan, could be perceived as “infringing on the sanctity of religion”, the commission said. As a result, it has officially requested that "Messiah" not be streamed in Jordan.
The Royal Film Commission on Tuesday officially asked Netflix not to stream the TV series Messiah in Jordan after supporting its shoot in the country.
The Royal Film Commission’s Managing Director Mohannad al-Bakri held a press conference in Amman, where he made an announcement to the local media about asking Netflix to stop the premiere of the show. Netflix plans to release the show on January 1, 2020.
After facing a backlash over the show and subscribers threatening to boycott the streaming service, the commission said: “Having been made aware of its content, the RFC has asked officially the management of Netflix to refrain from streaming it in Jordan.”
RFC in its statement acknowledged that Messiah was partially shot in the Kingdom in 2018.
“The story is purely fictional and so are the characters,” the commission said. “Yet, the RFC deems that the content of the series could be largely perceived or interpreted as infringing on the sanctity of religion, thus possibly contravening the laws in the country.”
“While still standing firmly by its principles, notably the respect of creative freedom, the RFC – as a public and responsible institution – cannot condone or ignore messages that infringe on the Kingdom’s basic laws.”
According to sources, the RFC had reviewed the synopses for the series’ episodes before approving the shoot and granting the show tax credit.
“For the last few months, the Board of the RFC has worked to reassess its policies and has reached the conclusion that it will change its policy with regard to productions shooting in Jordan, by making sure the content doesn’t breach the laws of the country,” the RFC added.